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Meet Our Charity of the Year - LGBT Youth Scotland

7th Jun 2019
Meet Our Charity of the Year - LGBT Youth Scotland

We're putting equality firmly at the heart of history
We are absolutely delighted to announce our charity of the year during Pride Month, as LGBT Youth Scotland.

Throughout the year we will support Scotland's national charity for LGBTI young people through donations, fundraising events, empowering storytelling training sessions and supporting the charity at Pride Edinburgh. We're also signing up to the LGBT Charter to proactively include LGBTI people in every aspect of our work, protect our staff and provide a high quality service to our visitors.

Some of our team have already signed up to Tough Mudder to fundraise for the charity (rather them than me!).
Kat Brogan, our Managing Director, said: "I'm delighted to announce that this year we are awarding our Charity of the Year title to the fantastic LGBT Youth Scotland and signing up to their LGBT Charter. As a family business, our business investments are firmly rooted in our ambition to look after and nurture our people and our community, so we very much support LGBT Youth's goal of making Scotland the best place to grow up for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex young people."
"A happy, fulfilled team and community is loyal and proud of giving visitors to Edinburgh the best possible experience. We are a product of, and thrive, because of our team and our local relationships. Recognising every individual's human rights and treating everyone equally with dignity and respect is a fundamental part of this. Being a responsible business is not a strategy, it is in Mercat's DNA."

Jane Griffin, Head of Partnerships at LGBT Youth Scotland said: "We are really pleased that Mercat Tours has named us their Charity of the Year and that they have signed up to the LGBT Charter. Through their support they are demonstrating a true commitment to diversity and the creation of inclusive working environments. It also sends a strong message of inclusion to the entire business community."

Our Charity of the Year is selected by our whole team. Around nine charities were nominated by staff this year with LGBT Youth Scot taking the majority vote. The cause is particularly close to the hearts of some team members who have been discriminated by workplaces in the past. Lyall, one of our brilliant Visitor Services Assistants, found one of his previous work places was not at all LGBT friendly, and this had a hugely detrimental impact on him and workplace productivity: "The anxiety I felt while trying to figure out whether or not I could be my real self put quite a strain on my work life. If you're constantly worrying about mentioning your partner or worse having to defend yourself against some form of judgement, it can really get to a person. It definitely contributed to me feeling depressed and changing jobs.
"At Mercat Tours, the management team is constantly working to create an atmosphere of inclusivity where everyone can be themselves. This means that we are much happier and everyone works better because of it. As it's a small company everyone has an equal share and responsibility when it comes to maintaining an inclusive environment and I think that we manage to do that. Everyone here shows each other respect regardless of their gender or sexual orientations and that's important".

Mercat Tours is a family business committed to helping the Edinburgh community which has sustained and supported the business for 34 years.

Pride Edinburgh this year will take place on Saturday 22 June.

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